Day 10 - Sunkadahalli to Chamarayanakote (Hanumanth Temple)
Distance: 17.3 km
Atithi Devo Bhav - 'The guest is equivalent to God.'
An Indian motto that was translated to me that perfectly describes the way I have been treated on my journey. I was beginning to feel as though they felt sorry for this dirty, homeless man.
As I walked today, I made a real conscious effort to make the time and stop in each village. Whilst, I always try my best to - it is near impossible to sit down for every chai or coffee request.
The genuine joy and smiles it seems to bring them still catches me off guard and it's contagious as it brings a reciprocal emotion. The adjustment bureau is over as I know that my day ahead is most likely to consist of SOBER hugs and kisses from strangers.
In one such village I was greeted by a man who had this kind and nurturing look about him. As I contuined on walking he screamed out to come back into his house for coffee. I jumped out of my skin as I almost sat down on his sleeping wife....
The food and the people kept arriving as the kids waited out the door for me to come out. In broken English he described to me that this area was a very poor farmers' village and to make things worse it has been a bad season for crops. I wanted to give money but was reminded of the saying by Atithi Devo Bhav.
The temperature began to sore as I walked through the heat of the day. By 4pm I was absolutely cooked - I was a bit complacent with my water situation and ran out. Feeling dehydrated I had to find a pump - lucky I have a supply of water purifier tablets.
The map said to go left but something in my gut told me to go straight and as luck would have it - ahead I was greeted by a pump and 25 year old Sunil who brought me over a 7UP and asked me where I was sleeping.
His dad was involved at the Hanumanth Temple, the town's local temple and said he had a basic room for me inside the temple. Of course I took up this unique opportunity - it was basic but had a shower so was stoked.
I was feeling pretty shattered but agreed to go out to dinner with him and his friends. Jumped on the back of the motorbike and rode to his favourite restaurant a few towns away. Once again I was shouted dinner and reminded... Atithi Devo Bhav
As I went to bed that night I could only be so thankful and appreciative for the acts of kindness shown to me during the day. This continual overwhelming sense of gratitude I am feeling on a daily basis can only be attributed to my increased energy levels, openness and acceptance and this overall feeling being pumped about life.
Whilst an ever work in progress, in the past when bad shit has happened in my life I have focussed so much energy on it - 12 rounds with Mike Tyson in my head. I do think it's important to address issues but there are also so many opportunities to focus your positive energy on a daily basis through gratitude.
Being over here has only made me appreciate more the opportunities my parents gave me, how lucky I am to grow up in Sydney (despite how much I hate it at times) and the awesome family / mates who I surround myself with.